Genomind, a leading mental health care company integrating personalized medicine into the fields of neurology and psychiatry, launched on August 10, 2019, Genomind Professional PGx Express, an innovative genetic testing service that creates a personalized approach to treating mental health disorders.
This innovative technology recognizes the variation in treatment effectiveness and responsiveness of mental health disorders induced by genetic variants; consequently, narrowing treatment choices accordingly.
Traditionally, a trial-and-error approach has been popular among clinicians in prescribing for patients with mental health disorders - particularly depression and anxiety. However, only 50 percent of these patients respond to first-line medications. This not only worsens the progression of the disease, but it also increases the cost of treatment for the patient. Therefore, understanding the patient’s genetic makeup and how it influences treatment outcome may create a more individualized and effective approach to prescribing for these disorders.
Genomind Professional PGx Express genetic test offers physicians comprehensive data about a patient’s genetic profile. With new technology and psychopharmacologic consultation services available in the tool, physicians can understand the possible clinical implications of such genetic findings.
Using a quick cheek swab, Genomind Professional PGx Express gene testing analyzes 24 genetic biomarkers associated with mental health disorders. These genes are selected from evidence-based reports that have shown their influence on treatment efficacy for these disorders. The genes include those which could influence how a drug is metabolized in the body (pharmacokinetic genes) and those which influence the effect of the drug on the body (pharmacodynamic genes)
Following a comprehensive genetic analysis, the test produces a report of potentially effective, ineffective, and harmful medications in treating a wide range of mental health disorders.
Consequently, this individualized therapy saves time and cost for the clinicians and patients. On the one hand, it reduces the burden of treatment selection by trial-and-error, thereby, expediting treatment initiation and reducing treatment failures and disease relapses. On the other hand, the cost and financial burden of treatment are lowered for the patient.
In a recent study evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacogenomic testing in influencing treatment outcome, a large proportion of patients who had genetic testing reported significant improvement, reduced drug adverse effects, improved quality of life, and significantly lower rates of treatment failures. Clinicians who use pharmacogenomic testing find it informed effective therapeutic decisions.
“We consider it essential that all mental health clinicians, including psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and nurse practitioners, can obtain the most up-to-date scientific knowledge of patients’ genetics and how they can affect their mental health journey,” said Shawn Patrick O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer at Genomind, Inc. “Genomind Professional PGx Express will provide this complex but valuable information, which will help build the individual clinical picture and, ultimately, help physicians manage their patients”
Genomind Professional PGx Express covers pharmacogenomic testing for treatment of several mental health disorders including:
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Addiction and substance abuse
This launch of Genomind Professional PGx Express comes as a response to positive coverage rationale from UnitedHealthcare, which reports that the use of multi-gene panel PGx testing is beneficial to guide treatment decisions in individuals with anxiety and major depressive disorder.
According to the report, the use of pharmacogenomic testing to guide treatment choices is proven and medically necessary for the treatment of major depressive disorder or anxiety when an individual has shown treatment failure to at least one prior medication for the condition.
Furthermore, the report cited the cost-effectiveness of using pharmacogenetic testing. Citing several studies which had analyzed the effectiveness of Genomind pharmacogenomic test, UnitedHealthcare noted that patients who use Genomind’s test saved $1,948 in the first 6 months of treatment, compared with patients who did not use genetic testing.
What’s more, the patients who used pharmacogenomic testing also reported 40 percent fewer visits to the emergency room and 58 percent fewer all-cause hospital admissions.
Genomind is currently working to expand the technology to enable wider access to data and resources provided by its genetic testing services. One of these projects includes integrating its services with Neuroflow, an AI-enabled platform that helps clinicians communicate with their patients, monitor treatment compliance, and make necessary treatment adjustments.
In addition to creating a real-time chat portal for clinicians and patients, Genomind is building a MetaType Card that contains the individual’s genotype and genetic variants that affect drug metabolism and impact of drugs on the body. Using the MetaType card, these details can be readily accessed in electronic medical records (EMR).
These expanded suite of tools will enable a wide range of clinicians to access data about patient’s genomic profiles and use it to guide their treatment decisions. These include providers such as primary care and OB/GYN physicians who also manage patients with mental health disorders.
These innovative tools also come in response to a recent request by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove references to medications and their classes on mental health pharmacogenomic test reports. Currently, there are more than 260 FDA-approved medications required to have pharmacogenomic data on their labels; 30 of these are used for treating mental health illnesses.
Genomind Professional PGx Express provides genetic analysis results within three days of receiving the patient’s sample and results are tested to 99.9 percent accuracy.
Genomind’s laboratory maintains high quality, meeting quality standards established by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and New York State Department of Health.